After spending months planning their wedding, many couples are now faced with the reality that the wedding they envisioned may not be possible. In these days of social-distancing, gathering is discouraged if not prohibited in most communities. This is a heartbreaking reality for couples who’ve spent months planning and years dreaming about their special day.
The first thing to do is to acknowledge and grieve the loss. One may think it’s trivial to mourn a wedding when thousands of people are sick, communities are in crisis, and families are mourning the death of loved ones. Yet, a wedding is a significant rite of passage and to have that disrupted is a notable loss. In addition to mourning the loss of the wedding as it was planned, there is the loss of seeing family and friends and having the joy of celebrating together.
The next step is to decide whether and how to reschedule. Some couples choose a particular date because of its special significance – perhaps the anniversary of their first date or combination of lucky numbers. For those couples, it may make sense to keep the wedding date, but postpone the party. Celebrants around the country are accommodating couples by officiating socially-distanced weddings – just the couple, the officiant, and a witness (usually outdoors) six feet apart. In this way, couples can still wed on their special day and honor the stay home/stay safe order of their state or community.
Some couples have considered holding virtual weddings, connecting family and friends on Zoom or another virtual platform. This will only work if (as above) the celebrant, the couple, and a witness are physically present. Family and friends can join in the virtual party, but unless the celebrant is with the couple to ensure they are freely and willingly entering into the marriage, it will not be legal.
Those looking to postpone their weddings until it is safe to gather again will likely find their wedding vendors helpful and accommodating. Most rescheduling fees are being waived and venues, photographers, celebrants, caterers, and d.j.s are working together to make the best of a difficult situation. In most cases, what wedding professionals want is for their couples to experience the joy of a magical wedding day and will help you reschedule to make that happen.
If you are facing the reality of postponing or reenvisioning your wedding we, at Rites of Passage, can help. Whether you are grieving over the loss of the wedding of your dreams, considering postponing your wedding, or would like to explore a socially-distanced ceremony to mark your special day, we would love to talk to you. Contact us to discuss your options.